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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Anfield until 2026, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Klopp, whose previous contract was due to expire in 2024, has helped Liverpool win the Champions League and Premier League titles since arriving in Merseyside in 2015.

“There is a freshness about us as a club still and this energises me,” Klopp said in a statement. “There are so many words I could use to describe how I am feeling about this news… delighted, humbled, blessed, privileged and excited would be a start.”

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Sadio Mane keeps Liverpool title hopes alive

Sadio Mane kept Liverpool in the Premier League title hunt with a priceless second-half equaliser in a gripping 2-2 draw with leaders Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp’s side sat 14 points behind City in January, but a 10-game winning run cut the gap to just one point to set up what many billed as a title decider at the Etihad Stadium.

Diogo Jota cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne’s opener in an enthralling start, and Mane followed suit swiftly after the interval following Gabriel Jesus’ 36th-minute strike.

Neither side could find a winner, with Raheem Sterling seeing a goal disallowed, as Pep Guardiola’s home side kept their slender lead intact with seven games left to play.

Sterling squandered a glorious chance after five minutes as he was denied by the onrushing Alisson following a square Jesus pass, but City were ahead just seconds later.

De Bruyne profited from a quick Bernardo Silva free-kick before arrowing a left-footed effort home, the ball going in off the right post following a fortuitous deflection off Joel Matip.

Liverpool responded within eight minutes, with Andy Robertson finding Trent Alexander-Arnold, who played the ball back from the far post for Jota to squeeze a low strike under Ederson.

De Bruyne whipped narrowly wide in search of his second before Jesus latched onto a Joao Cancelo cross and coolly finished via the underside of the crossbar.

Mane levelled up within a minute of the second half getting under way, racing onto Mohamed Salah’s throughball to slot powerfully past Ederson, who thwarted Jota’s prodded effort shortly after.

Sterling thought he had nudged the hosts ahead again, but a VAR check showed the forward was offside when De Bruyne passed the ball, while Salah curled just off target at the other end.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez provided a late scare for the visitors as he clipped the post with a free-kick, and then chipped over after a sublime De Bruyne pass, but there would be no decisive goal.

his result defied a trend for when the Premier League has seen its top two meet in the final 10 games of a season. In the last eight such meetings, prior to this, the team starting the day in second place had won seven times – including the last five in a row.

City, who have now not lost against Klopp’s side in the last five Premier League meetings (W2 D3), seemed set to take the three points when they became the first team to lead Liverpool at half-time in the league this season, but Mane’s composed finish means this race has a long way still to run.

De Bruyne’s excellence was on show as he lashed in his sixth goal in as many games – netting in four games in a row for City in all competitions for the first time – before Jesus came to haunt Liverpool once more.

He has only scored more for City against Everton (eight) than against the Reds in all competitions (five), while this was the fourth time he has netted in the league against Klopp’s side. Jamie Vardy (eight) and Harry Kane (six) are the only players to score more past Klopp’s Reds.

Salah-Mane link-up delivers

Mane and Salah have combined for 21 Premier League goals for Liverpool, with only Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman coupling up for more (24).

While the Egypt forward has just one goal in his last eight games across all competitions, and has not scored in the league in open play since February 19, Klopp will be pleased with his forward’s contributions amid ongoing contract negotiations.

Mane’s goal was timed at coming just 46 seconds into the second half, catching City cold.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he is “very positive” about Mohamed Salah’s contract situation.

The Egypt forward has less than 18 months left on his current deal and, in an interview this week, said he was not asking “for crazy things”.

Klopp has said in the past the contract is not something which can be sorted quickly – Salah is reportedly looking for wages in excess of £300,000 a week – and he remains upbeat despite time ticking on.

“I know that Mo wants to stay. We want Mo to stay. That is where we are,” Klopp said.

“These things take time. I cannot change that, sorry. I think it is all in a good place.

“I am very positive about it but I am pretty sure fans are not as nervous as you (the media) are.

“They know the club pretty long, they know the people dealing with the different things here pretty long, so I think it is enough reason to be positive.

“But as long as it is not done, we can’t say anything about it. Good conversations, that’s what I can say.

“There are so many things you have to do in these negotiations. There is a third party, the agent in there as well, but there is nothing to worry about, it is a normal process.

“No-one has to worry. It is just the situation. Really, all fine. It’s not done – that’s why we didn’t get this news – but we have talks.”

Looking at Salah’s numbers – he has scored 111 goals in 165 Premier League matches and 148 in 229 in all competitions – the decision to extend the five-year stay of a player leading the race for a third Golden Boot in five years is a no-brainer.

It is not just his weight of goals, it is his consistency. He has never scored fewer than 23 in any one season – including the current campaign – and the fewest appearances he has made in his previous four years is a remarkable 48.

The 29-year-old is super-fit and barely misses a game and that is something owner Fenway Sports Group will have to factor in if it is to break with its general practice of not offering ageing players – Salah will be 30 in June – lengthy, lucrative contracts.

Klopp, however, sees no reason why the forward, currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations, cannot remain at the top level well into his mid-30s like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I am as convinced as you can be,” Klopp added. “He is a world-class player, unbelievable player, great boy, did a lot of great stuff for Liverpool.

“His character, his determination, it’s the way he trains. His attitude, his work-rate is incredible, first in, last out, doing the right stuff.

“You can do some not-so-good things when you are in training and in the gym for a long time but he knows his body, he knows what to do and he is listening to the experts here.

“He tries to improve all the time. He works so hard for the situation he is in now and he will not waste it by doing less.”

Salah, along with Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, will be absent for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at home to Arsenal, which is now the first leg after last week’s cancellation following what turned out to be a raft of false positive coronavirus PCR tests.

The EFL has said it will not be investigating the postponement and Klopp said the matter – which included the closure of the first-team training complex for 48 hours – was not of their own making.

“A false positive is a positive test,” he said. “You get a test result back positive and, when you are able to do a retest a day, a day and a half later you get a result that makes it look like a false positive because this test was a negative.

“It doesn’t change anything for your quarantine but you need to prove that wrong or right (so) you have to do a third test and between the first and second and second and third tests you cannot use the players.”

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West Ham leapfrogged Liverpool into third and denied Jurgen Klopp’s side a piece of club history with a stunning 3-2 victory.

Liverpool arrived at the London Stadium knowing that if they avoided defeat they would extend their unbeaten run to 26 matches, beating the club’s all-time record set by Bob Paisley’s team in 1982.

They looked on course to do just that following a wonderful free-kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

But West Ham mean business as well this season and proved it when Pablo Fornals, whose corner had been palmed in by Reds keeper Alisson for the opening goal, broke away to score a second.

Kurt Zouma then headed a third and although Divock Origi pulled one back with seven minutes remaining, the Hammers held on for a famous victory.

West Ham took the lead in the fourth minute when Alisson, under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna as he leapt for the ball, touched Fornals’ corner into the net.

After a lengthy VAR review, for a possible foul and then handball, the goal was awarded, much to Klopp’s dismay.

Diogo Jota, starting in place of the injured Roberto Firmino, could have equalised on the half hour but sent his header from Jordan Henderson’s cross over the crossbar, while Alexander-Arnold’s volley was also too high.

But it was not the first-half performance of a side who had scored at least three goals in their last six away matches in the league.

However, with five minutes of the half remaining Liverpool were awarded a contentious free-kick on the edge of the area when Mohamed Salah went down under Declan Rice’s challenge.

West Ham lined-up an eight-man wall, complete with Fornals as the ‘draught excluder’, but Alexander-Arnold bypassed it with a simple one-yard pass to Salah to his right.

It left the England right-back with the simpler task of lifting the ball over Jarrod Bowen on the end of the wall, rather than the imposing Rice, Dawson and Tomas Soucek, and he curled a superb effort up and over while leaving Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski totally wrong-footed.

Michail Antonio passed up a glorious chance to put West Ham back ahead when he was sent clean through by Said Benrahma, only for his control to badly let him down at the wrong time, and Bowen was thwarted by a perfectly-timed Virgil Van Dijk challenge in the area in stoppage time.

At the start of the second half Dawson’s header from another corner came back off the crossbar, while at the other end Sadio Mane’s volley was kept out by Fabianski.

It was Bowen, a player Klopp readily admits he admires, who unlocked the Liverpool defence in the 67th minute after Dawson and Rice smuggled the ball away for West Ham from inside their own half.

The forward ran at the back-pedalling Liverpool rearguard, drawing defenders in, before slipping the ball to Fornals who ran through to fire past Alisson.

There was more to come. Antonio and Fornals were denied by Alisson before Bowen floated in a 75th-minute corner and the unmarked Zouma nodded it in at the far post.

Origi turned and fired home from 18 yards to set up a grandstand finish, but Liverpool could not find an equaliser – Mane coming closest when he headed wide in stoppage time – and Hammers boss David Moyes celebrated a place in the top three and a first win over Klopp in eight attempts.

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Jurgen Klopp has taken issue with referee Craig Pawson and VAR, accusing the officials of hiding, after Liverpool’s defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

The Reds boss was unhappy with a number of decisions at the London Stadium as his side fell to a 3-2 defeat, and was adamant the Hammers’ opening goal should have been disallowed for a foul on Alisson.

And when asked about the goal after the final whistle, Klopp took issue with Pawson’s use of VAR and how there must be a ‘clear and obvious’ error for a decision to be overturned.

“It’s a clear foul on Alisson. How can it not be?” he insisted. “The arm is up, the arm from Ogbonna is there and I really don’t know.

“I don’t know who was VAR today. We always have to say the ref maybe in the game can see that but in the situation, when you see the dynamic of the whole situation when they all go down and they are so close to each other, how can that not be a foul already without pushing the arm of Alisson away?

“But the ref made it easy for himself and thought, ‘Come on, let’s see what the VAR is saying?’ The VAR had a look and said not clear and obvious, I don’t know why, and here’s the goal which is really strange.

“It’s all about the ref. The ref is always right. Not all refs but he does. Not all refs, it’s just the situation.

“He just thinks, ‘Okay, let’s see what he says.’ He did that today, definitely.”

He continued: “There was another situation. Trent Alexander-Arnold after a set-piece on the second ball, takes the ball on the volley and goes down. It’s not a foul but he has a proper bruise under his foot.

“Where’s that coming from? It’s just – don’t do anything and just see what the VAR is saying.

“And there we have the problem with the clear and obvious mistake because whoever is there in the VAR hides behind that phrase, and then we have two people hiding and in the end we have the wrong decision.”

Klopp also called for more protection of goalkeepers after West Ham’s opener was allowed to stand, suggesting Alisson had no chance to keep it out.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched a staunch defence of the club’s transfer policy in the wake of their top-four rivals each spending upwards of £75million (€88 million) this summer.

Premier League champions Manchester City – who are interested in the £150m-rated Tottenham striker Harry Kane – lead the way with the British record fee of £100m on Jack Grealish.

But Chelsea have just splashed £97.5m on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to the club and Manchester United spent £75m on Borussia Dortmund’s young England winger Jadon Sancho.

By contrast Liverpool have spent just £36m in May on RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate to plug an obvious lack of depth at centre-back but are not expected to replace departed midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Klopp is not surprised by their rivals’ spending but insists Liverpool have to operate differently.

“We cannot spend money we don’t have. We cannot, the others can but we can’t. That’s my information,” he said ahead of the season-opener at Norwich.

“Chelsea are not hiding their ambitions, Man United isn’t, City isn’t. We don’t want to hide our ambitions because we want to fight for everything and in this moment it will be a massive fight.

“When the pandemic started and no-one knew how long it would be it was a difficult time for everyone, for football clubs as well. That is probably the reason why you ask me now if I’m surprised (about the spending).

“These clubs don’t depend on these kind of things I think. We all know the situation of Chelsea, the situation of City, and we all know the situation of PSG (Paris St Germain), for example. What United is doing I don’t know exactly how they do it. We have, obviously, our way to do it.

“I’m never surprised about the financial power of Chelsea, City or United. I am long enough in the country to know they always find a solution to do these kind of things.

“You cannot compare to the other clubs, they obviously don’t have any limits but we have limits and we were quite successful given the limits in the last two years.

“That is what we should try again and not use it as an excuse that if we do not win a game we say it was because we didn’t sign him or him. That will not be the case.”

Part of the reason Liverpool have not spent more this summer is because they have used their limited finances to secure the long-term futures of key players.

Virgil Van Dijk on Friday agreed a new deal until 2025, following the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Alisson Becker in signing new contracts.

The club will also look to tie down Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson to longer-term deals as they focus on keeping together the nucleus of the side which won back-to-back Champions League and Premier League titles.

“For us it is our way. We keep the team together, that is an important part of business as well,” he added.

“I know it is not as exciting for the outside world as with signing players and it looks the summer is always the same in that if you don’t sign you don’t work but that’s not the case.

“We are constantly thinking about the present and the future, short term and long term what do we have to do? How do we want the team to look this year, how will it look next year?
“Maybe not the most exciting but if you are a real Liverpool fan you are really happy about the news the club delivered in the last few weeks, signing Alisson Becker, the same with Trent, Fabinho and Virgil – and others will follow.

“That’s absolutely great news but it’s just not spectacular out there. But if other teams wanted to sign these players they would pay a lot of money and we have them already.

“We have a really good squad together, it should be a better situation than last year so let’s try to build on what we achieved last year and see where we end up.”

Klopp said Van Dijk’s new contract was a perfect example.

“Imagine if we would have had to buy this boy now – thank God we only had to give him a new contract,” he said.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he will speak to Sadio Mane to address the forward’s handshake snub following Thursday’s 4-2 win at Manchester United in which the player was dropped to the substitutes’ bench.

Mane was a 74th-minute substitute for Diogo Jota, who scored Liverpool’s opening goal at Old Trafford after being selected ahead of the former Southampton player.

Television cameras showed Mane rejecting a handshake from Klopp as the teams walked off the pitch at the end of the game, but despite admitting that it was an emotional reaction from the Senegal international, Klopp said he will not take issue with Mane.

“You cannot make a bigger story of it than it is,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday. “Football is an emotional game and everybody expects us to control our emotions, always.

“But it doesn’t always work out like that. It happened to me as a player, happened to other players when I was their coach.

“We have had, so far, no real chance to talk about it, but we will and there will be nothing left from it and everything will be fine.

“Do we want these things to happen? No. But it’s not the first time in my life and I’m afraid to say it, it probably won’t be the last time. So that’s it.”

Klopp said that his relationship with Mane has been built on respect, so one incident will not impact on that.

“If somebody shows me respect five million times, and one time not, what is more important?” Klopp added.

“The world is in a situation where you then make this one time bigger than necessary. That’s unfortunately the case.

“I am completely relaxed about it. If you had seen me as a player, what I did out of emotion, it was insane. And I am a completely normal guy.

“It happened to me, but there is nothing else — we will talk about it, it will be sorted and that’s all.”

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Jurgen Klopp tasted victory at Old Trafford for the first time as Liverpool breathed new life into their top-four push with a thrilling 4-2 win in the rearranged fixture against Manchester United.

After anti-Glazer protestors got into the ground and onto the pitch 11 days ago, further demonstrations could not stop Thursday’s Premier League fixture going ahead in Old Trafford’s final match behind closed doors.

United missed this chance to all but end Liverpool’s Champions League qualification hopes as their fourth match in eight days ended in a first home loss to their bitter rivals since 2014.

Stand-in skipper Bruno Fernandes’ deflected effort had got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side off to a dream start, only for Diogo Jota to level with a smart flick after a penalty decision was overturned.

The equaliser came from a corner and United’s soft underbelly from set-pieces was again exposed in first-half stoppage time, with Roberto Firmino heading home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s excellent free-kick.

Liverpool pulled further ahead 72 seconds after half-time as a comedy of errors at the back ended with Firmino turning home his second of the evening.

United looked punch-drunk but eventually rallied as Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit, before Nat Phillips – who had deflected home Fernandes’ opener – cleared a Mason Greenwood attempt off the line.

Mohamed Salah ensured United would lose their sixth home league game of the season, racing through at the death as Liverpool moved into fifth and four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand.

It was an exhilarating match that followed a disrupted build-up, with United players arriving at the ground early in the afternoon to avoid protestors as executive boxes were turned into rest areas.

Liverpool stayed in a city centre hotel and saw a club-branded bus blocked in by cars, but players were not onboard and arrived through a back entrance as demonstrators descended on the main entrance.

The noise of a police helicopter reverberated around the heavily-guarded ground as the match got under way, with Edinson Cavani – among 10 changes – wasting a glorious fifth-minute chance after an Alisson Becker error.

But United continued strongly and opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Paul Pogba swept a ball out to the right and Rashford played into Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whose cutback found Fernandes and his shot went in off Phillips.

Liverpool dug deep after that shaky start and Dean Henderson thwarted Jota, before referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot following a hefty Eric Bailly challenge on Phillips.

But the video assistant referee intervened, and the decision was overturned after Anthony Taylor looked at the pitchside monitor.

Pogba headed just wide at the other end but Liverpool were looking sharp and Jota saw a stinging strike tipped over, with United failing to clear their lines from the resulting corner.

Salah’s initial effort was blocked and Phillips kept it alive, before sending a low effort back towards goal as Jota smartly flicked home.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits they do not deserve to be in the Champions League if they continue to play the way they did in the 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle.

The Reds’ hopes of a top-four finish were dealt a blow when midfielder Joe Willock scored an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time, benefiting from an additional 60 seconds on the clock after Callum Wilson’s goal just moments earlier had been ruled out by VAR for handball.

Mohamed Salah’s 20th Premier League goal of the campaign, becoming the first Liverpool player to achieve that feat in three separate seasons, in only the third minute had looked like giving the hosts victory despite a host of missed chances.

Critics, of which there have been many this week in the wake of the club’s involvement in the ill-fated Super League plans, may well enjoy the irony of the dent the result put in Liverpool’s aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League – a competition their owners Fenway Sports Group were seemingly more than happy to abandon just six days ago.

For Klopp, however, the concern was he did not think his side warrant a place among Europe’s elite on this evidence.

“If we play like this and don’t finish games like this off, why should we play Champions League?” he said.

“We want to deserve Champions League and we don’t want to come and be cheeky, we want to earn it and with these results you don’t earn it.

“It’s all on the table so go for it. It feels close to being unacceptable but we have to accept it anyway.”

Klopp accepted the way his side performed at both ends of the pitch – although particularly up front where they had 22 shots and nine on target – meant they did not deserve to beat Newcastle.

“Very tough day – but there is no-one else to blame but ourselves,” he added.

“We created chances. The golden rule of football is you’d better use your chances. That’s what we didn’t do and that’s why Newcastle deserved a point.

“They score a goal which was disallowed the first time – we were lucky with VAR – but we didn’t even take that present and we gave them another one and it’s 1-1.”

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was delighted with a point but felt the joy of snatching a draw was somewhat lost by the intervention of VAR and the application of rules he feels need changing.

“There’s no denying we were sloppy with some of the decisions we made trying to play out from the back but I always thought we carried a threat going forward,” he said.

“We scored twice in the last minute which is quite remarkable. To go and get something from the game is vitally important.

“We were gutted (by Wilson’s disallowed goal). When you see the goal back you think what a ridiculous decision that is not to allow the goal.

“We are going to have to look at these crazy rules. VAR is becoming laughable and it is not VAR’s fault, it is the letter of the law. It doesn’t make sense.

“VAR was brought in for a clear and obvious mistake so to be looking at every goal whether it is a millimetre or two onside is not a great spectacle.”

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his side are not ‘comeback kings’ and turning around their Champions League fortunes will not be easy – especially at an empty Anfield.

A 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-final first leg immediately led to parallels with what they did to Barcelona in the 2019 semi-final second leg when they won 4-0 to turn around a 3-0 deficit from the Nou Camp.

That paved the way for them to win a sixth European Cup but it was achieved in an electric atmosphere at a packed Anfield which will go down as one of the greatest nights in the club’s history.

Next Wednesday they must do something similar, with the away goal helping slightly, but behind closed doors.

“Of course, it is completely different. Completely different,” said Klopp.

“If you want to have some emotional memories, then you watch the Barcelona game back and 80 per cent of this game was the atmosphere in the stadium, so yes, we have to do it without that.

“But it is not that I sit here and think, ‘Comebacks are our thing, we do it all the time’. We did from time to time but we always had supporters in the stadium.

“We don’t have that this time so I don’t know if we can do it, but I can promise you we will give it a proper try.

“It must be a really tricky task for Real Madrid at Anfield with or without supporters.

“This here (at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium inside Madrid’s club’s training ground) was really strange.

“It was really difficult, a different situation with the stadium, but Anfield is at least a proper stadium and that will be good for us.”

In a season of ups and downs, a week ago the most likely route back into the Champions League next season for Liverpool looked like coming from winning the competition itself.

However, a win over Arsenal and other results going their way has put the top four back within reach as they sit just three points adrift of West Ham, who occupy fourth place, with only one of their remaining eight games against a team (Manchester United) higher than ninth.

But Klopp said it was not realistic to just flip-flop between prioritising competitions.

“We cannot be picky with that, we have to go for everything,” he added.

“It’s not like we can now make the decision after that game there is no chance for us in the Champions League any more.

“In the Premier League, we cannot change it every week – we have to fight until the end and we will.

“This was a really good result for Real Madrid and it’s not that we have any kind of advantage, but with each day and each minute that will go until the next game the 3-1 will not be that good any more for Real Madrid and not that bad any more for us because there is, of course, a chance.

“But we have to play much better football (and) we cannot get it like tonight. For example, when we played against Barcelona and lost (the first leg) 3-0 we played a super game. That’s a massive difference.

“We can play much better (than against Madrid) and we can be much more uncomfortable to play against than we were and that’s what we have to make sure next week.

“Now we have to recover first and then concentrate on Aston Villa, which is for us a very important game, not only because of the results we had recently or in this season against them.”